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Apparently, doing nothing is a good theme for me. I achieved my highest score yet, this past week…

My total: 28 (out of a potential 35)

On analyzing this week’s successes (and challenges), it becomes clear that it is no coincidence that we Canadians celebrated our last long weekend (until the winter/Christmas holidays). Thanksgiving. A time for nourishing our souls, our tummies, our relationships.  The waning of the moon further contributed to the feeling of yin: peace, settling, the exhale. And an excellent time to practice “doing nothing“.

Thanksgiving for my husband and I was a little different this year: because we are currently on our fall cleanse, we were unable to participate in the voracious gorging at a couple of family Thanksgiving dinners. We brought our own delicious, detox friendly food to one, and on thanksgiving itself, ended up making our very first Thanksgiving for two. A gluten-, dairy-, soy-, processed-, alcohol-free thanksgiving, full of delicious autumn foods done perfectly: home-cooked and extremely nourishing. And, they lasted for meals after. 🙂 Score for taking time for body.

The energy of the weekend – gratitude – was quite dominant and palpable, everywhere I turned. And when that feeling is so overwhelming, it is difficult NOT to sit with it a little… bathing in this happiness. We found ourselves in peaceful quietude more often than not, breathing in the air, doing walking meditations, and feeling soothed from deep within. Emotions ran high and flowed with a cleansing feeling. In fact, I even wrote a poem. Now how is that for taking time for the mind?

Doing Nothing was also soul-soothing. We did not touch our work all weekend. As I mentioned, the quiet moments were many. this past’s week’s challenge to “take time to do nothing” was a nice change, and, as I mentioned in my last blog post, made me rethink my definition of productivity. This week, I feel refreshed and more ready to take on what the days have in store. I did take time for soul this past week, and I can feel the difference.

(And lastly, it is hard to avoid taking time for others during this thankful holiday. Perfect score there!)

What is our theme this week?

Take time for your spirit.

Vague, yes. But ask yourself this question: how do you nourish your spirit? Spirituality is a word that can garner quite opposite reactions. When approaching the subject in yoga classes, there can be undesirable reactions: mental (or physical) fleeing, reading “religion” from “spirituality”. But spirit is universal. Spirit is removed from religion – religion is just one of many ways some human beings nourish their spirit. Spirit is whatever you want it to be: it is that “je-ne-sais-quoi” that flickers deep inside, that moves you and gives you purpose. And this week, I want you to fan those flames, feed that fire, and remember your spirit.

Express yourself.

Make art.

Dance.

Enjoy your own rituals – religious or not.

Write (another) poem.

Just put your ear down next to your soul and listen hard. ~Anne Sexton

Each of us, at all times, is vibrating inside. We each have our own unique frequency, and, depending on the day and our state of mind, our vibratory waves can be strong and flowing or meek and scattered… or anywhere in between. The fifth chakra, Vissudha chakra (meaning “purification”) is in charge of the expression of our inner vibration. As we move into the higher chakras, we break away from structure and form and into the abstract. We move into the world of the mind.

“The symbol strikes its roots in the most secret depths of the soul; language skims over ths urface of the understanding like a soft breeze… Words make the infinite finite; symbols carry the mind beyond the finite world of becoming into the realm of infinite being.” ~ J.J. Bachofen

The Right to Speak and be Heard

A balanced fifth chakra allows the creativity and our inner self to get out into the world. Where the second chakra was focused on opening the sensory gates to let IN information, the fifth chakra opens the gates to the outside, leading to even further movement outside of ourselves and into the universe. Communication is the essential function of this chakra; sound is it’s element. If one has been quieted all their lives, they are forced to shut down at this chakra, or made to tell lies to cover truths that may not be accepted. As with all other chakras, trauma to this chakra can result in a deficiency or an excess. We may shut down the voice, only speaking when necessary and with over self-consciousness and irresolution. On the other hand, we may build up a defense in which we can talk excessively to discharge extra energy and avoid feelings with excessive verbiage.

Resonance

Anyone who has sung in a choir, played music in a band, or even just listened to their favorite tunes knows that there is something magic that happens when two or more voices/instruments strike chords at the same frequency. Resonance is a state of synchronization between vibrating patterns. Thus, if we are all vibrating, this means resonance can also apply to our lives. The upper chakras allow us into a world of symbols: words, images, and thoughts. Each symbol also has a vibration… and when a symbol really speaks to us, we can say we resonate with it. We all can identify that song that touches us deep within, that quote that we can strongly identify with, that one word that makes us smile from the heart. These packets of meaning were once stored in someone else’s mind– and then shared with others through the wonders of Visshudha chakra. The state of resonance within and without is a statement of our health and vitality. Opening to resonance requires grounding and flexibility, just as a guitar string needs to be both taut and flexible. This balance allows us to both listen and respond at the same time, and is what makes human life so unique.

“If it is true that you are what you eat, it may just as accurately be said that you are what you listen to.” ~ Steven Halpern

Visshudha Chakra Homework: We are all creative in our very own way. Whether you express it by talking to friends; through journalling; through a pen, paintbrush, or pencil; a guitar, a piano, or your voice; in your garden or through your yoga practice– this week, make sure you take time at least once to express yourself. Express yourself for no one but you– attach no goal to the outcome, evaluate nothing.

Wear bright blue.

In the spirit of the upcoming Valentine’s Day, I would like to propose a second name for the day: Svadhisthana chakra day. Valentine’s Day, in my opinion, does not quite encompass all that this day really could signify… not only in the way of relationships, caring and love for others, and compassion, but also in the sweet nectar of life itself. This brings me to one of my favorite resolutions this year: Keep the Sparks Alive.

In saying this, I am not only talking “relationship-wise”. The 2nd chakra, or Svasdhisthana chakra, is not only responsible for our sensuality and relationships, but also with creativity, taste, nurture, flow, flexibility, and a general love of life. And of course, this includes love of one’s self. As it rules all the fluids in our body, it is responsible for the lubrication of joints, cleansing of our lymphatic system, and the general fluidity of our lives. It is almost unquestionable that the mere image of this flow brings us feelings of softness and adaptability, bringing us closer to another feminine aspect inside ourselves.

Thus, in “Keeping (or re-igniting) the sparks alive” I want to get back in touch with this “go-with-the-flow” nature that resides within each of us, to awaken my creativity, and to stimulate a “lust for life” that will get me through the rest of this Winter (and this semester at school). In our fast-paced lives, it is no wonder there is an increasing prevalence of dysfunction with sexuality, with depression, and with relationships. By reconnecting to our this sweetness inside by doing things we love, by spending time with people we love, and by nurturing ourselves and others, we can reconnect to that fire inside. 

So the key here is to take time to taste the chocolate, to enjoy the sunset, to create art (in whatever way possible), to play, and to express yourself… at least once a day. But of course, that is not a static goal… because we’re not into that this year, right?

Just me…

2010 Journey

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